back to article NASA 'UFO' pops a leak, lands in outback Australia

NASA has terminated the flight of its Super Pressure Balloon after one-third of its planned flight. While the aviation agency's Wallops Flight Facility is pleased that the balloon made a near-circumnavigation in its 32 days aloft, the mission was originally planned to last 100 days. “Controllers detected a leak developing in …

  1. Martin Budden Bronze badge


    Are they planning to collect it?

    EDIT: I see in the Otago Daily Times article that yes it will be recovered.

  2. Gray Ham

    I hope they can find it ...

    "near the Queensland and New South Wales border just east of Australia’s Sturt National Park"

    That'd be in South Australia, then ...

  3. Winkypop Silver badge

    Bloody Kiwis

    Always coming over here and then staying!

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Is that twirly bit at the end of the track

    where it went plplplplplplplplplplp as all the helium got out?

  5. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Is that twirly bit at the end of the track

    where it went plplplplplplplplplplp as all the helium got out?

    :) Do helium balloons do this at a higher pitch?

    The one with the folded acre of mylar in the pocket, thanks.

  6. James 51

    If it's going up that high, why not use hydrogen? Might be risker on the way up but a lot cheaper and will it deflate any faster?

  7. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    "for safety, issued flight termination commands"

    I believe the assembler opcode is BalloonAcquireNearestGround.

  8. pizzathief

    Americans are attacking us again.

    Didn't they drop rubbish on us before, like a whole space station? we'll have to fine them again.

  9. John Brown (no body) Silver badge


    Judging by the track, not really anything close to an unqualified circumnavigation. A near circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent is more accurate with the qualifier. If someone at the South Pole dances around the actual Pole, would that also be a circumnavigation? Qualifiers help to disambiguate.

    Still, it's all good science and engineering, especially getting the balloon to maintain shape and altitude despite changes in temperature, even if the reporting is ambiguous.

  10. x 7

    total waste of helium.

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